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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pointers On Feeding Your Vegetarian Baby

By Owen Jones

Many vegetarians and even more vegans have a problem when it comes to suckling their new-born babies. This is because many vegetarians and most vegans are against the consumption of animal produce. This is a problem because it has been stated by the vast majority of doctors and mid-wives that mother' breast milk is the best food for a baby. This is because mother's breast milk will contain a selection of protective substances against diseases and allergies.

However, if a woman decides that she cannot give her baby her breast milk for philosophical reasons, it is not a big problem, because there have always been women that cannot feed their children in this way for one reason or another. Typical reasons may be illness or malnutrition. There are preparations you can buy to give your baby everything it needs, so there is no need to be anxious.

Whether you breast feed or not, make sure that your baby gets enough vitamin B12. It will also need lots of vitamin D, which comes from sunlight. There are different estimates of how much exposure is enough, but ten minutes a day or so is about average. The one thing that all medical workers will agree on however, is that the baby should not run any risk of getting sun burn and if the sun is strong, the eyes have to be shielded too.

Iron is an important part of anyone's diet and breast milk can supply enough for a four to six month old, because breast milk is not particularly rich in iron. After that time, food should be selected that has a higher iron content. Meat will provide the iron for a meat-eater, so a vegetarian mother has to take this into account. The advice of your physician, midwife or dietitian will be priceless here as elsewhere.

A great deal of parents give their infant rice cereal fortified with iron as one of the baby's first foods. Check with your medical doctor, but it is usually a decent idea to continue with your breast milk or formula feeds even if you are feeding rice cereal. Other grains and cereals such as oats, barley and corn can be used too, but they should be put through a blender first and mixed with fruit or / and vegetable puree.

You might be advised that the iron content of these foods is still not adequate, in which case it is fairly standard to be given an iron supplement to add to the baby's food. It is around this time, after the baby is all right eating cereal, that fruit and vegetable purees can be given in their own right. Make sure that the fruit and vegetables are properly pureed or mashed.

Bananas, avocado, apples and canned peaches or pears are all good choices here as are vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, and green beans, although they have to be cooked first, naturally. There are lots of decent recipes on the Net or at your GP's surgery to ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients it needs from a vegetarian diet,

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